Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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And even though a formula may have an equal number of left and right parentheses, the parentheses might not
match properly. For example, consider the following formula, which converts a text string such that the first
character is uppercase, and the remaining characters are lowercase. This formula has five pairs of parentheses,
and they match properly.
Using Formula AutoCorrect
When you enter a formula that has a syntax error, Excel attempts to determine the problem and offers a sugges-
ted correction. The accompanying figure shows an example of a proposed correction.
Be careful when accepting corrections for your formulas from Excel because it does not always guess correctly.
For example, I entered the following formula (which has mismatched parentheses):
Excel then proposed the following correction to the formula:
You may be tempted to accept the suggestion without even thinking. In this case, the proposed formula is syn-
tactically correct — but not what I intended. The correct formula is as follows:
The following formula also has five pairs of parentheses, but they are mismatched. The result displays a syn-
tactically correct formula that simply returns the wrong result.
Often, parentheses that are in the wrong location will result in a syntax error, which is usually a message that
tells you that you entered too many or too few arguments for a function.
Excel can help you with mismatched parentheses. When you edit a formula, use the ar-
row keys to move the cursor to a parenthesis and pause. Excel displays it (and its
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